This weekend's best bets in Bay area music: Grand Buffet, Crystal Antlers, Geri X, Toubab Krewe, 93.3 FLZ Jingle Ball with The Fray, Jordin Sparks and others, and more!

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Trivium w/Chimaira/Whitechapel/Dirge Within Trivium, Orlando’s longtime purveyors of heavy metal, headlines the 63-date Hot Topic-backed “Into the Mouth of Hell We Tour 2009” in support of their well-regarded fourth album, 2008’s Shogun, which debuted at No. 23 on the Billboard 200. Ticketholders, hang onto your stubs; each carries a unique download code that can be used to redeem a free, full digital soundboard recording of the St. Pete show at Trivium.org. 7 p.m., State Theatre, St. Petersburg, $23 (all ages).


[image-1] [pictured] All the way from Tokyo, Japan and enjoying their first U.S. tour is garage trio The Heiz, which brings the grime to their ‘50s surf rock sound. Cited inspirations: The Beatles, Chuck Berry, The Ramones. And in case you were wondering, The Heiz “eat MUSIC and excrete ROCK’N’ROLL.” 8 p.m., Emerald Bar, St. Petersburg, $5.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11


Rick Gee's Jazz Jamm feat. The Hands in Motion Band The next concert in the ongoing Jazz Jamm series features an ensemble fronted by pianist/keyboardist/composer Lanni Battistini The band culls from a sizable repertoire of Latin jazz standards, like “Mambo Inn,” “Manteca” and “Oye como Va,” and also performs selections from Batttistini’s own catalog of original compositions. 7:30 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, $20 general/$10 ages 12 and under (all ages).


COPE w/The Hip Abduction Tampa jam rockin’ foursome COPE is currently celebrating the release of their new album, Going Home, full of driving rock numbers flavored with funk, reggae and newgrass. Tropical soul jazz sextet The Hip Abduction provides support. 8 p.m., Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa, $8.


Tortured Soul The Brooklyn electro trio – made up of drummer/lead vocalist John-Christian Urich, and on backing vocals, bassist JKriv and keyboardist Ethan White – return to town for another go ‘round of their lounge, soul and house music grooves. The Kennedy, Tampa; call 813-259-9669 for more info.


Tigercity w/French Horn Rebellion/Ryan Wendell Bauer Another Brooklyn returnee, this one Tigercity, which produces a sort of disco-meets-‘80s electro rock marked by the full-throated wails or high-note-hitting pleas of frontman Bill Gillim. 9 p.m., New World Brewery, Ybor City, $7 (ages 21 and up).


[image-2] [pictured] w/Audacity/Dafrebos/Set And Setting In 2008, Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens produced the Crystal Antlers’ critically-acclaimed self-titled EP and put them on the indie radar. The Long Beach, Calif. sextet signed to Touch and Go Records later that year and released their debut, Tentacles, in April. There’s a spellbinding, unearthly quality to the band’s sound, which marries ’60s-era blues, prog rock and garage psychedelia into fuzzed-out washes of percussion-seasoned sonics – two-guitars delivering distortion and reverb and echoing solos, waves of piping organ notes, rhythms that are leisurely, then rollicking, then leisurely again, and against it, lead singer/bassist Jonny Bell’s hoarse wail, earnest and brimming with alt rock soul. 9 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $8 in advance/$10 dos (ages 18 and up).



John McCutcheon and Kevin So Multi-instrumentalist folkie John McCutcheon makes observations about society, the environment, our heritage, and plenty else in his spoken word-style acoustic ditties, like the jazz club flavored “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” He does a little twangy singing too, and performs on 6- and 12-string guitars, banjos, an autoharp, a piano, hammered dulcimer and fiddle. Asian American songwriter Kevin So explores identity, sexuality, history, family, and racism, his vocals rich and resonant, his storytelling style set against his blend of blues, folk, and soul. 8 p.m., Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, $20.


Jaden South Nashville-based singing and songwriting duo Jessica Draper (acoustic guitar, piano) and Deborah De Loach (electric guitar) just released their debut album, Leading the Horse, produced, engineered and mixed by Grammy-winning studio wizard David Leonard (Prince, Paul McCartney, Indigo Girls). The duo’s music is Southern twangy rock ‘n’ roll, their complementary sopranos twisting and twining in lovely harmony. 7:30 p.m, Hideaway Cafe, St. Petersburg, $10.



SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12


Free Rock Encounter Hosted by TBPAC’s Patel Conservatory, this free event is for aspiring musicians of all experience levels, grades five to adult, who get the chance to jam with and get tips from professional musician, composer and Patel Rock School lead instructor, Lee Ahlin. Interested participants should bring an electric guitar, bass or drumsticks; keyboards, drums and amps will be provided. 1 p.m., Patel Conservatory @ Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa, free.



[image-3] [pictured] Farewell Show w/Jimmy Gnecco/James Hall/The Biters Enigmatic neo-folk rock singer-songwriter Geri X is bids adieu to the Bay area yet again. Hopefully she’ll find what she’s looking for in Atlanta, where she’ll be diving into the city’s music scene and working with ATL-based indie label Underated Records to put out her next album in February. Geri plans to perform some new songs from the album and is joined by a cast of national artists for her last official local show, among them, frontman of NYC alt rock four-piece OURS, Jimmy Gnecco, who plays a solo acoustic set, and fair-haired LA songstress Sara Haze, who brings pretty, piano-driven pop-sensible rock to the bill. We shall miss Geri but I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of her. 8 p.m. doors, State Theatre, St. Petersburg, $8 in advance/$10 dos.


New Roman Times w/The Beauvilles/Mouse Fire Austin-by-way-of-Orlando dance punk foursome NRT celebrates their sophomore album, On the Sleeve, released by New Granada Records in July. Click here to read more about the band in this week's music feature. 9 p.m., New World Brewery, Ybor City, $7.


Less Than Jake w/Cage/The Swellers Gainesville’s own punchy ska punk rockers Less Than Jake have been active since 1992 and released seven full-lengths in their 17-year tenure, the last, 2008’s GNV FLA, more or less based on (and dedicated to) their hometown. 7 p.m., The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City, $20 in advance/$22 dos (all ages).


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13


[image-4]Toubab Krewe [pictured] The instrumental rock sextet from Asheville makes a stop in Tampa every few months, their easy-going percussion-heavy grooves marked by West African influences and the sounds of authentic stringed instruments like the soku, kora and kamel ngoni. The sextet’s second and most recent album, Live at the Orange Peel, captures select performances from a two-night hometown show over New Years Eve weekend. 6 p.m., Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa, $12 in advance/$15 dos.


93.3 FLZ’s Jingle Ball w/The Fray/Jordin Sparks/Pitbull/30h!3/Sean Kingston/Boys Like Girls/Ting Tings The Bay area’s Top 40 station brings in an eclectic roster of charting artists for its holiday concert: piano rock quartet The Fray, R&B pop singer and sixth season American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Miami Latin-flair rapper Pitbull, electro pop purveyors 30h!3, reggae lovin’ hip-hopper Sean Kingston, emo rock four-piece Boys Like Girls, and British electro rock duo the Ting Tings. 6:30 p.m., St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, $28-$146.


Bitch w/The State Of/Her Name Is Victory Formerly of funky queercore duo Bitch & Animal, Bitch (real name unknown) sings, plays electric violin, bass, keys and ukulele, and writes music that crosses the line between spirited neo folk and ass-kicking rock ‘n’ roll. On an interesting side note, the artist raised nearly $12,000 in pledges from fans to self-produce and release her next solo album, Blasted, due out in the spring. 7 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $TBD (all ages).


Hip Hop Against Hunger w/Green Sunshine/Stick Martin Green Sunshine is a local nine-piece that offers a fresh fusion of funk, reggae, rock, and hip hop, the jazzy stylings of a female vocalist mixed with the rhymes of the group’s trio of emcees. Multi-year Best of the Bay award-winning funk hop artist Stick Martin performs a solo acoustic set to kick off the evening. Admission is free but all attendees should bring a non-perishable food donation for F.E.A.S.T, a nonprofit food pantry serving northern Pinellas County. 8 p.m., Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin, free (donate please).

Lots of music going on this weekend. Here's a breakdown of the most worthy concerts beginning with Thursday, 'cause that's when the weekend really begins, right? Get the good music while you still can; things getting pretty sparse the closer we get to Christmas... For a more comprehensive schedule, check out our Upcoming Concerts page.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10

The Slackers [pictured] w/The Duppies/Magadog Not your typical ska stompers, The Slackers are longtime Brooklynites with a vast repertoire of music that draws from the sounds of vintage rock ‘n’ roll, dub reggae, rocksteady, ska, soul and jazz. 9 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $15 (all ages).

Hip Hop Against Hunger w/Green Sunshine/Stick Martin Green Sunshine is a local nine-piece that offers a fresh fusion of funk, reggae, rock, and hip hop, the jazzy stylings of a female vocalist mixed with the rhymes of the group’s trio of emcees. Multi-year Best of the Bay award-winning funk hop artist Stick Martin performs a solo acoustic set to kick off the evening. Admission is free but all attendees should bring a non-perishable food donation for F.E.A.S.T, a nonprofit food pantry serving northern Pinellas County. 8 p.m., Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin, free (donate please).

Grand Buffet w/Stellar Dexters/B.C. Pittsburgh rap duo Grand Buffet performs a clever, tongue-in-cheeky style of hip hop with verses traded back and forth between the nasally Jackson O'Connell-Barlow (aka Iguanadon, Grape-a-Don, Plaps, Nate Kukla, and Mr. Pennsylvania) and the deeper monotone drone of Jarrod Weeks (aka M-Dog, Lord Grunge, Viceroy, Matt Kukla, Fred Durts). 9 p.m. doors, Orpheum, Ybor City, $10 (ages 19 and up).

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